New Festival Celebrates Immigrants’ Contributions To American Comedy, Art, Food, Film & Fashion With Harlem’s Marcus Samuelsson

August 6, 2019

New American Economy (NAE) announces the launch of the New American Festival, a groundbreaking celebration of immigrant contributions to American comedy, art, food, film, fashion, and more. This festival highlights how so much of American culture is shaped by immigrants, and how diversity has electrified creativity in America—giving the country its cultural breadth, dynamism, and vitality. The festival will take place at exclusive venue partner NeueHouse (Madison Square – 110 East 25th Street), in New York City, in the immigrant capital of the world, from September 14-15, 2019. Following its debut in New York, NAE will bring the New American Festival to cities across the U.S., including Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Kansas City, Nashville, Houston, and Oakland, among others.

Headliners include established and emerging artists whose work has changed their respective fields and art forms including chef, restaurateur, and author Marcus Samuelsson (Red Rooster Harlem, Marcus B&P); author Min Jin Lee (Pachinko, Free Food for Millionaires); author, broadcaster and cook Yasmin Khan (Zaitoun, The Saffron Tales); Big Friendship co-author and Call Your Girlfriend podcaster Aminatou Sow; and more.

Comedy Central is the official partner for the festival’s comedy programming, providing a block of content and talent including comedian, actor, and “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” senior correspondent Ronny Chieng; comedian Aparna Nancherla (Corporate, Netflix’s The Standups, Bojack Horseman); and Arturo Castro (Alternatino with Arturo Castro, Broad City). BoJack Horseman writer, everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too author, illustrator of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s New York Times best-seller Gmorning, Gnight!, and MIT doctoral candidate Jonny Sun will bring an interactive multimedia piece to NeueHouse with collaborating artist Hannah Davis. Titled The Laughing Room, this work asks questions about A.I. through the lens of comedy and laughter.

The festival will include multiple music performances curated by Treble, a creative community that incubates thousands of undiscovered musicians and emerging superstars.

In the coming weeks, NAE will announce additional festival participants and programming details.

Smorgasburg, the largest weekly open-air food market in America and the official food partner for the festival will offer cuisines representing a variety of nationalities and ethnicities. For Freedoms, the largest creative collaboration in the United States, is an artist-run platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists. They will serve as the official art partner and will curate a panel on the critical role of art in moments of crisis and exclusionary politics, alongside an exhibition. Their pop-up shop will also feature artwork and prints.

“Immigrants shape American culture, and our vision is to create a festival that cultivates a sense of pride in immigrants’ contributions to American culture and the arts,” said New American Economy’s Katherine Steinberg, who is curating the festival.

According to NAE’s recent analysis of the 2017 American Community Survey, more than 400,000 immigrants are working in creative or artistic occupations, helping support the nearly $1 trillion creative industry sector in the United States. There are more than 25,000 immigrant actors, producers, and directors; nearly 23,000 immigrant musicians; more than 17,400 immigrant photographers; and more than 16,000 immigrant writers and authors nationwide.

Tickets for the inaugural New American Festival will go on sale in August. Learn more at

New American Economy (NAE) is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization founded to educate, empower and support policymakers, influencers, and citizens across the country that see the economic and social benefits of a smart approach to immigration reform. NAE has created a coalition of civic, business, and culture leaders who span the political spectrum and represent all 50 states. NAE makes the case for smart immigration reform in three ways: 1) we use powerful research to demonstrate how immigration impacts our economy, 2) we organize champions at the grassroots and influencer levels to build support for immigration, 3) we partner with state and local leaders to advocate for policies that recognize the value immigrants add locally, and 4) we show immigrant contributions to American culture through film, food, art, sports, comedy, and more.

NeueHouse is the home of the new – new ideas, people, conversations and experiences – where creators, artists and entrepreneurs come together to push culture forward. The NeueHouse creative system sits at the intersection of culture and commerce – underpinned by the unique confluence of elevated design-driven spaces, thought-provoking cultural programming and experiences, and unparalleled hospitality and creative resources. These all combine to inspire a creative and curious mindset, foster new connections and provide the stage for cultural experiences. NeueHouse membership currently comprises a prominent community of creators across locations in New York and Los Angeles.

For more information: I @NeueHouse | #homeofthenew

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